Letter: The Fourth celebrates freedom, not dominance

Posted

To the Editor:

Do you remember then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's comment about "small hands" regarding another candidate on the debate stage in 2016? Well, it seems Trump is now trying to assure the nation that his are anything but small.

In place of the traditional non-partisan national celebration of July 4th in Washington, DC, Trump has commanded that the festivities become a show and campaign rally that trumpets his - sorry, the country's - greatness. At the cost of $2.5 million dollars, taken from the National Parks budget, Sherman and Abrams tanks were transported, some from Fort Stewart, Georgia, and placed around the National Mall. He has scheduled himself for a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, encircled by his family, and GOP supporters and donors in reserved VIP seating, separated from the crowds.

In addition, there will be an air show and flyover, a parade with more military vehicles and Pentagon officials — a show of military power his idols Putin and Kim would like. Trump said in a tweet that his "Salute to America" will be the "show of a lifetime!" City officials and law enforcement representatives are calling it a logistical nightmare.

Then there are the extra security costs, with the president and other government officials present. Mayor Muriel Bowser of DC said she plans to seek reimbursement for extra costs. According to the mayor, though, the city still hasn't been reimbursed for Trump's inauguration costs, so I doubt the city will ever recoup their costs for this narcissistic spectacle.

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Apparently Trump fell in love with the idea of a military-type parade on his first state visit to France. The trip coincided with that country's Bastille Day observations, celebrations, and festivities. He was so impressed, he said at the time he wanted a military parade on the following Veterans Day. Citing a limited time frame to arrange such an event, and the cost of doing so, the Pentagon was able to stop that attempt.

I, for one, refuse to watch. Trump has thoroughly hijacked our once-friendly, non-political national celebration, and I won't be a part of that.

This is getting dangerous, friends. Michelle Obama writes in her memoir "Becoming," "Dominance, even the threat of it, is a form of dehumanization. It's the ugliest kind of power." If we're not careful, we won't have to worry about the size of Trump's hands because we will be, well and truly, under his thumb.

Genie Rayner,

Bennington


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